Bill Dees

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Bill Dees, né William Marvin Dees (24 January 1939 Borger, Texas — 24 October 2012 Mountain Home, Arkansas), was an American musician most famous for his song writing collaborations with singer Roy Orbison.[1]

Career[edit]

Dees played guitar and sang with a band called "The Five Bops," gaining enough recognition to perform on an Amarillo, Texas radio station. Dees eventually made his way to Nashville, Tennessee where his meeting Roy Orbison led to a collaboration that produced a string of successful songs for Monument Records including the hits "Oh, Pretty Woman" and "It's Over".[2]

In 1967, Dees co-wrote all the songs for the Orbison album and MGM motion picture The Fastest Guitar Alive.[3]

Beyond his work with Orbison, Bill Dees wrote hundreds of songs, a number of which were recorded by performers such as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Skeeter Davis, Glen Campbell, Billy Joe Royal, Frank Ifield, Mark Dinning and Gene Pitney. In 2000, he recorded his own album titled Saturday Night At The Movies, a compilation of songs previously sung by Orbison that had been written with Dees and some that Dees had written alone.

Dees resided near Branson, Missouri, and continued to write songs with collaborator Jack Pribek until his death on October 24, 2012.[4] He was living at a nurs­ing facil­ity in Mountain Home, Arkansas at the time of his death.[5][6]

Songs with Roy Orbison (partial list)[edit]

  • "Oh, Pretty Woman" (1964) [UK #1, 3wks; US #1, 3wks]
  • "It's Over" (1964) [UK #1, 2wks; US #9]
  • "Borne On The Wind" (1964) [UK #15]
  • "Ride Away" (1965) [UK #34; US #25]
  • "Crawling Back" (1965) [UK #19; US #46]
  • "Sleepy Hollow" (1965) [Bill Dees]
  • "Where Is Tomorrow" (1966)
  • "Communication Breakdown" (1966) [US #60]
  • "Walk On" (1968) [UK #39; US #121]
  • "Tennessee Owns My Soul" (1969)
  • "Windsurfer" (1988)
  • "There Won't Be Many Coming Home" (1966) [UK #12]
  • "The Fastest Guitar Alive" (1967)
  • "Indian Wedding" (1964)
  • "Goodnight" (1965) [UK #14; US #21]
  • "Only With You" (1965)
  • "Wondering" (1965)
  • "Twinkle Toes" (1966) [UK #29; US #39]
  • "Going Back To Gloria" (1966)
  • "(Say) You're My Girl" (1965) [UK #23; US #39]
  • "Ya Te Amo Maria" (1964)
  • "Breakin' Up Is Breakin' My Heart" (1966) [UK #22; US #31]
  • "A New Star" (1966)
  • "You're The One" (1972)
  • "Heartache" (1968) [UK #44; US #104]
  • "So Good" (1967) [UK #32; US #132]
  • "This Is Your Song" (1965) [Bill Dees]
  • "Maybe" (1966)
  • "Losing You" (1966)
  • "I'm Losing You" (1967)
  • "Go Away" (1966)
  • "The Loner" (1966) [Bill Dees/John Adkins]
  • "It Ain't No Big Thing" (1965)
  • "Just One Time" (1967)
  • "My Friend" (1969) [UK #35]
  • "Best Friend" (1967)
  • "Born To Be Loves By You" (1967)
  • "Growing Up" (1966)
  • "Never" (1966)
  • "Wait" (1966)
  • "Sugar And Honey" (1965)
  • "Just Another Name For Rock 'n' Roll" (1966) [Bill Dees]
  • "Why Hurt The One Who Loves You?" (1966)
  • "This Is My Land" (1966) [Bill Dees]
  • "Time To Cry" (1967)
  • "Pantomime" (1966)
  • "Summer Love" (1965) [Bill Dees/Marcus Felton Mathis]
  • "It Takes One To Know One" (1967)
  • "City Life" (1966)
  • "That's A No-No" (1967)
  • "She" (1967) [US #119]
  • "Memories" (1967)
  • "You'll Never Be Sixteen Again" (1966)
  • "Yesterday's Child" (1969)
  • "River" (1967)
  • "Rollin' On" (1967)
  • "Whirlwind" (1967)
  • "Heading South" (1967)
  • "If Only For A While" (1972) [Bill Dees/Larry Henley]
  • "Good Time Party" (1967)
  • "She Won't Hang Her Love Out" (1970) [Bill Dees/Marcus Mathis]
  • "Pistolero" (1967)
  • "Medicine Man, Medicine Man" (1967)

References[edit]

  1. ^ William Yardley, Bill Dees, 73, Orbison Collaborator, Dies, New York Times, November 1, 2012
  2. ^ "Mercy: Behind Roy Orbison's 'Pretty Woman'". NPR. December 6, 2008. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ "The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967) - Soundtracks". IMDB. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Songwriter Bill Dees Dies in Mountain Home". khozradio.com. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  5. ^ Minovitz, Ethan (October 26, 2012). "Oh, Pretty Woman Songwriter Bill Dees Dead at 73". Big Cartoon News. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Bill Dees, US songwriter, dies aged 73". BBC News. November 1, 2012. Retrieved 01-11-2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]